Saturday, June 20, 2020

Sharing the Spotlight 2

An occasional series where Tony shares a baseball card with another player. Today, it's his younger brother, Chris.

Card Number 119: Upper Deck, 1992; #83 ("Bloodlines" insert)
A genuinely nice family photo. I hope it really was taken in a ballpark at dusk, and that's not just a backdrop.

Chris Gwynn had a respectable Major League Baseball career with the Dodgers, the Royals, the Dodgers again, and then finishing up playing alongside Tony at the Padres. He was originally drafted by the Angels, but opted for a college degree instead and then was drafted by the Dodgers. Although this card is from the 1992 Upper Deck set, he had actually been traded to the Royals for the 1992 season.

The cardback kind of hints at Chris's understudy role. When he got to the Padres he was a pinch hitter making occasional forays onto the field. He did have one honour that Tony never achieved - a silver medal from the 1984 Olympics, held in his home city of Los Angeles. It was the first time baseball had been played in the Olympics, and the USA lost the final to Japan.

He played his final Major League Baseball game in September 1996, in the last regular game of the season. He came in as a pinch hitter in the top of the 11th inning and hit a double that brought two team-mates home and won the game. That meant the Padres won their second ever National League West pennant. It was the last at bat of his ten year career in the majors.

Chris, of course, had some baseball cards in his own right. Recently, Jasper sent me this Upper Deck card from 1994 with Chris in the Royals uniform.

Ironically, Chris was released by the Royals at the end of the 1993 season and returned to the Dodgers, signed as a free agent, for the 1994 season. So he is in the 'wrong' uniform again on this card. He is being impeded in the photo there by Tim Hulett, who was the third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles in 1993.

The cardback has a batting cage photo.

Speaking of cardbacks, I've noted before how Chris has been mentioned on the backs of Tony's cards. Way back in 1985, Topps decided that Chris's appearance in the 1984 Olympics would be of more interest to card collectors than mentioning Tony's first national league batting title.

In 1991 DonRuss added Chris to their list of factoids on Tony's base card. Chris had been playing for five seasons by then.

And then of course, in 1992, they got to share the front of the card as part of the Upper Deck "Bloodlines" insert series.

Total: 119/394

1 comment:

  1. I'm in the process of clearing out about 20k cards... and have been sifting through them. Came across a few different Chris Gwynn cards yesterday and it definitely brought back memories. Didn't think to turn them over to see if any mentioned Tony. :(